whitney peckman: painter/sculptor

all content copyright © whitney peckman
120 E. Innes St
salisbury nc 28144

"Any truly creative art comes through a transparent self, when the hand is moved by surrender rather than by a conscious effort. The images flow from the fingertips of the communication of visions. Colors vibrate and sounds make forms."
---Yael Lurie

The act of creating comes as a result of the creator opening the self.  When we do this we allow for the unexpected, the spontaneous, the immediate and unadorned to enter, and the restrained, fearful and rehearsed to fall away.  To live the artist's life, one's greatest struggle is not the medium, nor the workspace nor the income.  Rather it is the effort required to open one's self to the unconscious vision.  But the reward is so great, engendering such excitement and surrender that we feel lost, as without our lover, when not engaged in the expression of that vision.

--Whitney Peckman


about the work

What is the conversation which takes place between an artist and the medium?  Tracking from the imagination/mind through the hand/body something comes tumbling/sailing/singing forth into a painting, a sculpture, a pot or spoon or melody.  The artist struggles to express the voice within, sometimes with grace, often with battle.  

Lately, I have been thinking much about the subject of language.  David abram says, in The Spell of the Sensuous, that written language, over time, violently separates us from our language of humanity, which is nature.  Earth, sky, flesh, blood - this is what we are, and is our womb.  It is our grave and the grave, our earth, becomes our womb.  We come forth once again, to begin the cycle, to be the cycle.  We are losing our being.  and as we feel the loss, we seek answers, blind to the obvious.  

This then, is the language/vein of my work.  Opening to the imagination/mind, iIlay down texture, color. more. more. more.  Until the nuance of memory whispers it's own wordless language. The sigh of breeze, heat of color, sound of bird flows down the hand/body.  Something is born of the memory without words.  It is my voice.  I invite you to hear.


after many decades

Organic texture supported by vibrant, rich color has defined and propelled my work for thirty years.  Beginning my career with tapestry weaving, evolving into contemporary paintistruggled with creating "pretty," wondering about its value, its longevity, its "meaning," as artists are wont to do in making their way to individual expression of self, to their artistic "voice".  I wanted to make angry socio/political art.  I wanted to change the world.  I wanted to "call to our better angels." Working constantly and compulsively, I conversed with the world.  What is art but a conversation between artist and viewer?  The artist speaks.  The viewer’s role is to listen, to hear, to experience by bringing his/her self into the conversation.  Looking back on thirty years I can now see that creating beauty creates a space for peace, for calm, and for hope.  That, it turns out for me, is the meaning of beauty and the conversation I wish to be in.

Thank you for taking the time to have the conversation.